Thursday, February 16, 2012

From the Chaplain, The Rev. Gary Taylor

Chapel this week marked our annual celebration of the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first black Episcopal priest in the United States. The Rev. Jones was born a house slave in 1746 in Sussex County, Delaware. He taught himself to read out of the New Testament, among other books. When he was sixteen, he was sold to a store owner in Philadelphia. There he attended a night school for Blacks, operated by Quakers. At twenty, he married another slave, and purchased her freedom with his earnings. He finally bought his own freedom in 1784. Our fifth graders led a remarkable service filled with facts and quotes about this inspirational Christian who overcame enormous obstacles to become a leader of others in their journey with God. He is a role model for all of the benefits of hard work, faithfulness, and courage in overcoming even the most difficult circumstances.  Ms. Stephens and our fifth graders are to be complimented for their efforts for this special chapel celebration.

Next week marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to to Easter. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, the day when we are reminded of the fragility of life and our dependence on God alone. We will be holding two optional services for Ash Wednesday including the imposition of ashes and communion at 7:30 AM and at 3:30 PM in the Music Room. All are welcome!

Our chapel next Thursday, February 23rd, will be a PreK - 8 communion for Lent. The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer introduces Lent with these inspiring words:  You are invited, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditation on God's holy Word. Lent provides us with the opportunity to join our fellow Christians in reexamining our priorities and realigning our inner compass back to God.

Our theme for Lent this year at St. Anne's is "Be the change you want to see in the world." (Please see the accompanying article about Lent at St. Anne's) and we will kick off that theme in Thursday's chapel with our communion. Please join us at 9:45 AM in the gym for what will be my first Eucharist as celebrant at St. Anne's!

Finally, the following week (March 1) promises to be an exciting one for us in chapel as a wonderful group of Hindu parents and students will be sharing with us the Hindu holiday of Holi, with stories and spectacles and a special fun activity celebrating the colors of spring and the brotherhood/sisterhood of humanity. Please mark March 1 on you calendar for our special Holi celebration!

AG Beau Biden Addresses Students on Internet Safety

Mrs. Pat Davis poses with
Joseph "Beau" Biden, III.
Delaware's Attorney
General, Joseph "Beau" Biden,
III address St. Anne's students,
as well as parents, on the
importance  of internet
Attorney General Joseph "Beau" Biden, III spoke to the students in fourth through eighth at St. Anne's Episcopal School about Internet safety on Friday, February 10th as part of the school's commitment to community safety. Attorney General Biden directed the students to stay safe online by not friending people in social media sites that they do not know; by trying, when appropriate to interfere with bullying by befriending a victim or reporting bullying to adults; and to never take inappropriate photographs or send inappropriate photographs or text messages on cell phones.

The students asked many questions of Attorney General Biden and he addressed their concerns as well as those raised by the parents in the audience. He reminded everyone that what is said online is permanent and what you say now can and will affect a job application or a school application in the future. He recommended a balance of common sense and vigilance for parents when overseeing their child's online life.

For more information, visit

Lent at St. Anne's School

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

At this year's convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, guest preacher The Very Rev. Michael B. Curry spoke passionately about the importance of having a vision of a better world toward which to strive. In a profound way, this defines the entire educational enterprise at our school as everyone working with the children is shaping the future in lasting and meaningful ways through the daily interactions with the children, and the students are becoming the people they will be for the rest of their lives. What is so easily missed is how our day-to-day interactions and decisions, especially the habitual ones, are so crucial to this long term work.

Mahatma Gandhi is famously quoted as saying "You must be the change you want to see in the world," a call both for action and for vision. Lent this year we will be focusing on better defining our vision for the world in light of the Gospel, and thinking more deeply about how our actions and decisions today can help or hinder the realization of that vision. Please join us at chapel on Thursdays, on Wednesday mornings for communion at 7:30, in conversation and in prayer as we as a community observe a holy Lent by striving to better understand how we can further the kingdom of God on earth.

Interscholastic Sports, By Brian Scott, Athletic Director

Thank you to all of the parents for all of your support throughout the season! 

The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams ended their season at SAES against hometown rival MOT Charter in dramatic fashion on Valentine’s Day. The girls won 28-15, while the boys’ relinquished their lead with under a minute to go in their game losing 24-22. The boys' and girls’ teams made remarkable progress throughout the season. Their progress was evident considering the girls lost 19-10 and the boys 39-14 to the Mustangs in their first games of the season in December.
Previous Week Scores:

Varsity Boys:

Caravel L 35-29

JV Boys:

Caravel L 21-16

Varsity and JV Boys:

Campus Community W 26-22

Varsity Girls:

Caravel L 15-12

JV Girls:
Campus Community L 20-6

Week of February 20 Events:

Tuesday February 21

3:15-4:45 PM - End of Season Basketball. Parent/student basketball game. Wednesday, February 22          

2:30-3:10 PM– Student/Faculty Basketball Game

Friday, February 24

1:45 – Winter Sports Assembly

Great News! St. Anne’s new athletic calendar website is ready. The new site can be found on the school’s website under “Student Life” in “Athletics” drop down box. You will be able to view the 2012 spring sports schedules here.

Nurse News

Parents, please remember that the only medications we stock to dispense at school are Tylenol, Motrin, and Tums. These medications can be given based on your permission by signing your student’s emergency card. You may send in prescription and over the counter medications in their original containers with a note stating child’s name, class, time medication to be given, and your signature. Notes for medications are available on our school website or you can email us at the address listed below.

Some parents have elected to have a supply of "as needed" medications at school for their child (such as Lactaid, Zyrtec, Claritin, Benadryl, or certain flavors of Tylenol or Motrin). All medications are returned at the end of the school year.

If your child has received any medication during the night or in the morning before school, please let us know by note or email. It’s a big help to us if you are emailing the teacher regarding health issues to please include the nurse: ( as well so we know what has been happening at home. Our teachers are great at forwarding the information, but this saves them that step and we are all getting the information at the same time.

Thank you for your cooperation in helping us care for your student!

"A Fashionable Tea" Keepsake

Would you like to have your own copy of the middle school Fashion Elective "A Fashionable Tea" video? They are available for purchase for $15. Please contact Carey Koppenhaver if you are interested in ordering your own professionally recorded and edited copy.

Gala Auction

You are invited to
the St. Anne’s Episcopal School
Gala Auction
“Celebrate the Decade!”
Saturday, April 28, 2012
 at 6 pm
Formal Invitation to Follow
Tickets: $100 each or $175 per couple

The event will be on campus in the gym which will be transformed into a ballroom for the evening. 

Dress is cocktail attire and all are welcome! The night will feature a live and silent auction, open bar of wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages and our signature drink, as well as full dinner and dessert, catered by Immediato’s. We will host the band, Nightsong, from Washington, DC.

Plan to support the Anunal Fund, have fun and dance the night away! Sponsorships are available and auction items are already being accepted. For more information or to help with the decorating, please contact Carey Koppenhaver at or (302) 378-3179, ext. 347.

We Want You!

Student Council News, by Jamie Trabaudo, President

Recently, the Student Council participated in a pizza-tasting lunch, which helped to decide the new supplier of our school pizza! They were asked to vote on their favorite pizza, all of which had fake names so the students couldn’t pick based on the restaurant name. By a large number of votes, the pizza “Plato,” or Domino's, pizza won, and will be the new supplier for St. Anne’s lunches on Wednesdays. The new switch will start February 29th and go until the end of the year. We hope you enjoy!

February 14th was the 100th Day of School!

First Grade proudly displays their 100 items for all to see!

First Grade 100th Day of School Poem
One hundred days of learning,
One hundred days of fun,
One hundred days to work and play,
Aren't we the lucky ones?

On February 14th, our kindergarten students celebrated the 100th day of school!  Here, both classes are pictured wearing special 100 hats they created for the occasion.  Students counted and displayed a variety of 100 piece collections, made a 100 piece snack mix, sang songs, did puzzles, read books, and somehow still managed to observe all the Valentine traditions as well! 

SAES Students Compete in Taekwondo Championships

This past Saturday, three St. Anne’s students, Theo Taylor, Jack Travis and Kunal Viswanathan, each competed in different divisions for the Maryland State Championships in the Olympic sport of Taekwondo, with Mr. Kite as coach.

Theo was paired against an experienced opponent, and after two very intense rounds ended up losing by 1 point. It was a very exciting match to watch and he drew many compliments from opposing coaches for his efforts (not to mention keeping Mr. Kite on the edge of his seat and giving his heart a good workout!). He ended up coming 3rd in his division, which earned him a very handsome trophy.
Jack was paired against an older, larger and more experienced fighter, and he more than held his own. He had his opponent pinned in a corner for a long time in the first round, creating many anxious moments for his opponent’s coach. At the end of the day, Jack won his division and is not only the Maryland State Champion, but has qualified to compete in the National Championships later this year. Congratulations, Jack!

Kunal may appear small to many of our eyes, but what an athlete! He competed in the smallest weight class (under 19kg) and showed the world that he can kick! After an impressive bout, Kunal claimed First Place in his division. He too is now the Maryland State Champion and has qualified to compete in the National Championships this year. Congratulations, Kunal!

 Each of these athletes showed poise, determination and skill well beyond the brief time that they have had to prepare for this event. My congratulations go to each of them for their tremendous effort and the grace with which they handled success and defeat. Well done friends!

Mr. Kite

If you would like more information about Taekwondo and how you or your child can be involved, please contact Mr. Kite on (302) 373-9837, by email at, or look up his website:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

From the Chaplain, The Rev. Gary Taylor

In chapel this week, with the help of Mrs. Hanna, we celebrated the Presentation of Jesus, recalling the event in epiphany that preceded this next great revelation to the world of who Jesus was. The story of Simeon and Anna, two elderly and faithful people serving God in the temple, seeing and recognizing Jesus immediately for who he was is a lovely reminder that patience pays, and that our faith in God will be rewarded if we can sustain that faith for a lifetime. How many of us know an older person who has quietly but doggedly clung to their principles in the face of struggle over many years, and has emerged as a beacon of hope and inspiration to those whose lives they have touched along the way.

Next week in the three chapels (Prek-1 at 8:15, grades 2-4 at 8:50, and grades 5 – 8 at 9:45) we will be recognizing the Islamic holiday of Mawlid an Nabi, the day of celebration for the birth of Muhammad. After our more familiar practice of prayers and singing and readings from the Christian scripture, we will hear a story about Muhammad and his report of his encounter with God. It is a hallmark of the St. Anne’s ethos that while we stand proudly as a practicing Christian school, we also learn about and appreciate other faiths. Such mutual understanding and respect is crucial in this pluralistic age, and serves to empower our students to better understand their own traditions and beliefs as they are help in contrast and comparisons with others.

In the weeks to come we have several other important events. Our celebration of Absalom Jones takes place for grades 2 – 8 at 9:45 on the 16th. February 22nd is the beginning of Lent and will be marked by two optional Ash Wednesday services for adults and their children at 7:30 and 3:30 in the Music Room. Finally, our community Eucharist for Lent – my first as celebrant – will take place on February 23 at 9:45 in the chapel (which many refer to as the gym!) Please join us for any or all of these wonderful events!

Special thanks to the many, many people who donated clothing for our Clothing Drive this month. We received dozens and dozens of bags of clothes that were carefully sorted by Mrs. DeSalvo’s fourth grade class. The bags will be taken to the Clothing Bank of Delaware (a ministry of Friendship House) which provides clothes to people through over 300 agencies in the tri-state area. The students will visit the distribution center in the spring to see what happened to the clothes they helped collect, to work some more with clothing donated to the Bank, and to learn more about the needs of the poor in our community.

4th Grade to Visit the Middle School

On Friday, February 10th, the fourth grade will get a glimpse into the inner workings of the St. Anne's middle school. 

In anticipation of transitioning from the lower school into the middle school next year, the 4th grade class will be divided into groups and will visit classes.  They will also join the 5th grade for lunch and recess that day.

Moving up from the lower school into the middle school can be a daunting prospect, but visits like this help to ease any anxiety there might be.  The 4th graders will get the opportunity to hear from Student Council representatives and will be able to ask questions that they might have.

Mrs. Byrd, Head of Middle School, will also be holding a meeting for 4th grade parents on March 26th at 4:30 PM to hear the 5th grade teachers discuss their team approach to supporting the new 5th graders in the fall.  She encourages new middle school parents to contact her with any questions at 378-3179, ext. 314.

Christmas Concert Review and Update

For our Christmas concert in December we set out to address some of the comments that we have heard about our concerts in prior years, and we recognize that in doing so we created some new concerns.  We really appreciate those parents who shared their perceptions with us because we certainly want to strike the right balance going forward.   Having had three separate debriefing and planning meetings this January, we want to share some of the thinking about this past concert and future concerts.

During the past three years we had heard three central feedback themes about the Christmas Concert:
  • For the first eight years it was always the same and we need to mix it up to make it fresh.
  • It is awkward to see many non-chorus Middle School students who don't want to sing.
  • We devote too much class time to rehearse for the concert.
We responded by rehearsing less in large groups and thus missing fewer classes, and by featuring those students who opted to sing in the chorus and/or play in the orchestra, while still having some common songs that all students sang.  We also crafted a script that told the Christmas story from a different perspective, that of the three wise men.  The result was that the performance involved non-chorus Middle School singers in only two of the nine songs, and students who would have liked to sing more felt short-changed. In forgoing the use of the stage to bring the skit portion closer to the audience and introducing some moments of humor, the story felt less sacred to several in the audience.  By using only older students in the speaking parts to the skit, we lost some of the precious reading voices and personality of our younger students.
Having learned from this experience and listened to the wide range of responses to the concert, we have made several adjustments for upcoming concerts:
  • The fifth grade will be featured more prominently in the spring concert, and since they meet year round for music class, they will also have a more prominent role in the Christmas Concert.
  • We will invite experienced theater director, Mrs. Grynkiewicz to assist us in the staging of the performance.
  • We will reconsider putting the skit/pageant portion on the stage for better visibility.
  • We will aim to have at least one audience participation song that allows our guests to share their voice in the Christmas celebration.
  • The division heads will help review the “lead parts” to make sure that students from all grades have some level of participation in the non-singing parts.
      We recognize that our concerts customarily have been an important Christmas tradition for many families, so we will continue to try to find the right balance.  We invite parents reading this article to let us know if you have other comments or suggestions to share.

4th Grade Donates Clothes to Wilmington Clothing Bank

 Ingrid, Caroline, and Brooke work to sort clothes during the
St. Anne's Episcopal School clothing drive to benefit the
Clothing Bank of Delaware.
Mary DeSalvo's 4th Grade at St. Anne's Episcopal School chaired their annual clothing drive to support the Clothing Bank of Delaware. Each class at St. Anne's hosts a community service project that supports a non-profit or other philanthropy in the area. Every year, the 4th grade works to encourage members of the entire school and school community to donate clothing to the clothing bank, which works with Friendship House in Wilmington, to provide clothing to those in need. The students collected, sorted and packaged two vanfuls of clothing for their donation.

St. Anne's Admissions Open House

Join Us for the Internet Safety Presentation!

The Safe School Committee and SAPA are looking forward to sponsoring the Internet Safety presentation with Attorney General, Beau Biden, on Friday, February 10th at 1:00 pm in the gym.  Nearly fifty parents have responded to this invitation; we are thrilled by the outpouring of interest and support for this program.

 Due to the nature of this presentation, the topic is not suitable for young children. Please contact Megan Whittaker or Jill Hollander, our SAPA co-presidents, if you would like to use the babysitting option. Please RSVP to Pat Davis if you plan to attend.  All are welcome!

Claudia Sardo and Pat Davis
Co-chairs of the Safe School Committee

Interscholastic Sports, by Brian Scott, Athletic Director

Keep an eye out for the new SAES sports calendar created by  The basketball season is in full swing and yet there are only two weeks remaining. Spring sports will be here in five weeks!

The highlight for the boys’ team over the past two weeks was a buzzer beater by Ethan Bloomfield to defeat Holy Cross. The boys demonstrated character and courage by erasing a nine point deficit late in the game.

The varsity girls battled Holy Cross and Wilmington Friends and defeated Sanford at Sanford by two points in a game last week. The JV girls played hard against much taller opponents in Kent, Sanford and
Wilmington Friends.

Other important February dates:
2/14 Final home games against MOT with some halftime Valentine's Day fun
2/21 @ 3:15 - End of season basketball party for all boys and girls
basketball players
2/22 @ 2:30 – Faculty and students basketball game
2/24 @ 1:45 – Winter Sports Assembly

Go Herons!

Yearbook Dedications Deadline Extended

Celebrate the decade with a special message in the yearbook to your star student! 

Don't Delay... The yearbook deadline has been extended until February 15, 2012. Please contact Renee Massey with any questions at

For dedications for students in grades Pre-K to 7th grade, use this form.

For dedications for students in 8th grade, use this form.

Nurse News

February is National Dental Health Month.  The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following for good oral hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA accepted fluoride toothpaste.  Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.  A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
  2. Clean between teeth daily with floss or an inter-dental cleaner.  Decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  3. Eat a balanced diet and limit between meal snacks.
Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.

Nurse Trivia Winners are: Holden Ramos, David Hyde, Grace Hudson, Haley Dougherty, Justina Guity, Joi Mann, Caroline Knight, Sophia Liston and Nia Pope.  Congratulations!

Thank you and keep smiling!
Beverlee Ashkenase, RN and Andrea Croce, RN

Words of Gratitude

Words cannot express how grateful I am to the St. Anne's family who worked so hard to make the ordination service and the reception following such a truly wonderful, memorable, spirit-filled event. I cannot imagine that any ordination in any other venue could have possibly been more filled with the Holy Spirit and the love and support that I felt on January 20. Everyone who attended felt that St. Anne’s was the perfect environment for such a joyous event. The outpouring of care and well-wishes from the many who attended will forever be part of the foundation of my ministry. I will treasure that afternoon for the rest of my life, and from the bottom of my heart I thank ALL those who came and/or who sent me thoughts and prayers.

One of our guests, The Rev. Sandra McCann M.D., who came to us from the Msalato Seminary in Tanzania, Africa where I had visited last summer, wrote the following:

That was the most wonderful and sweetest ordination to which I have ever been. I started to cry just telling my friend about it. The students and staff of St Anne's can stand up and take a bow. The children directing us to the magnificent reception, the servers, and the teachers are all to be applauded. The children and the music were perfect. I hope you are feeling the joy. Thank you for honoring me in such a special way.

I pray God will empower me to live into the call to serve as your chaplain as well as you deserve. Thank you, again, so very much.

Chaplain Gary Taylor

Girls On The Run Spring Season